ATP Barcelona/Bucharest Betting: Simple for Simon against Nieminen

The excellent start to Week 17 of the 2013 ATP World Tour continued on Tuesday, as Guillermo Garcia-Lopez was a winner at odds against.

The Spaniard had to come from a set behind to get the better of Horacio Zeballos in Bucharest and he did it in style, winning the deciding set 6-0 to progress to the next round and reward his backers.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, I mentioned Nikolay Davydenko’s great record against Tomas Berdych and the Russian was a point away from upsetting the Czech, who held firm for a three set win in the end.

Wednesday sees Rafa Nadal, David Ferrer and Nico Almagro make their debuts in Barcelona for this year and also on the schedule there on another busy day include Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic and Juan Monaco.

But again, I see more value in the line-up in Bucharest, where there’s the chance of backing three-time champion Gilles Simon at a tempting 1.96 minus 1.5 games against what will surely be a fatigued Jarkko Nieminen.

The Finn has been is surprisingly good touch on the clay of late, but his run in Monte-Carlo and another three setter to open here is likely to see him a bit below par today against an opponent that needs a good run this week with ranking points to defend.

Simon has been poor lately, but he loves it here in Bucharest, which suits his backboard style of play and although this one is likely to go long I can see Simon boring Nieminen into submission eventually. It’s likely to be by more than 1.5 games.

Elsewhere in Bucharest, Daniel Brands has a shot at odds against when he takes on Gael Monfils, as does Tobias Kamke against Viktor Troicki, but for my second bet I’ll take a cross-tournament double that pays around 2.17.

Andreas Seppi takes on Lukas Rosol at around 12.30pm UK time and I’ll be siding with the solid Italian to get the better of the wayward Czech in this one.

Rosol has been boosted by his Davis Cup exploits on the dirt, but the opposition was of questionable quality and Seppi, after losing early last week, will make sure he squeezes enough errors out of Rosol to progress today.

In Spain, I like the chances of Barcelona-born Albert Ramos to get past lumbering Pole Jerzy Janowicz when they meet this evening in the final match on Pista Central.

It’s always worth opposing Janowicz outdoors and especially on clay where he is yet to win a single match in the main draw at tour level. He’s also never beaten a left-hander in the main draw of a tour level event on any surface, so he’s up against it today.

Ramos has been playing well of late, reaching the fourth round in Miami and posting three wins last week in Monte-Carlo before running into an inspired Fabio Fognini and he already has a match under his belt here, which Janowicz doesn’t.

The 2-0 is also worth considering in this one at around 2.40, but I’m happy to take the double on today.

Best Bets

Back Simon -1.5 games to beat Nieminen at 1.96

Back Seppi and Ramos in a double at 2.17

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